Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1999


MacDonald, David Lorne and Kathleen Scherf, eds.  Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.  2nd ed.  Broadview, 1999.

Paley, Morton D., ed.  The Last Man, by Mary Shelley.  New York: Oxford UP, 1998.

This volume, from Oxford's "World Classics" series, has notes and an Introduction by Paley.

Shelley, Mary WollstonecraftFrankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus.  New York: Modern Library, 1999.

This Modern Library edition has an Introduction by Wendy Steiner.

Shelley, Mary WollstonecraftFrankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus.  New York: Doubleday, 1999.

From the New York Public Library Collector's Edition series.

Smith, Johanna M., ed.  Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley.  2nd ed.  New York: St. Martin's P, 2000.

Revised and extended version of the teaching edition; includes new critical essays and an additional essay demonstrating how different critical approaches can be combined. 

Tomalin, Claire, ed.  Maurice, or, The Fisher's Cot: A Tale, by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.  New York: Knopf, 1998.

Tomalin's edition of the recently discovered children's tale includes an extensive introduction explaining the circumstances of the tale's discovery.


Albright, Richard S. "'In the mean time, what did Perdita?': Rhythms and Reversals in Mary Shelley's The Last Man." RoN 13 (February 1999): <>.

"In The Last Man we see multiple levels of primary and secondary imagination at work: Verney's act of perception and then recreation is enclosed within the Sibyl's perception and recreation, which in turn is enclosed within the Author's perception of the tale written on the Sibylline leaves and his or her efforts to 'model the work into a consistent form' (4); the modeling efforts are equivalent to Coleridge's 'struggles to idealize and to unify.'" 

Bennett, Betty T., ed.  Lives of the Great Romantics III: Godwin, Wollstonecraft, and Mary Shelley by their Contemporaries.  Brookfield, VT: Pickering and Chatto, 1999.

Brennan, Matthew C.  "Mary Shelley's Cautionary Narrative: Frankenstein as Therapy."  Lamar Journal of the Humanities 24.2 (Fall 1999): 5-11.

Brewer, William D.  "William Godwin, Chivalry, and Mary Shelley's The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck."   PLL 35.2 (Spring 1999): 187-205.

The essay considers the influence of Godwin's notion of chivalry on Mary Shelley's novel.  Especially useful here is the conception of chivalry not as the remnant of some more autocratic and rigorously gendered past but as an imaginative alternative to the shortcomings and inequities of current social relations.

Bush, Ronald.  "Rereading the Exodus: Frankenstein, Ulysses, The Satanic Verses, and Other Postcolonial Texts."  In Transcultural Joyce, ed. Karen R. Lawrence (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998), 129-47.

Caldwell, Janis McLarren.  "Sympathy and Science in Frankenstein." In The Ethics in Literature, eds. Andrew Hadfield, Dominic Rainsford, and Tim Woods.  (Houndmills: Macmillan, 1998), 262-74.

Carlson, Julie.  "Coming After: Shelley's Proserpine."  TSLL 41.4 (Winter 1999): 351-77.

"This essay analyzes a few of Mary Shelley's points of entry into the [Proserpine] legend that she recomposes in the early months of 1820 as the mythological drama Proserpine to examine how Proserpine joins the novella Mathilda (1819-20) in rescuing this mother-daughter from the hell in which she is wandering in that 'tragic year' of 1819." 

Chantler, Ashley.  "Echoes of Cowper in Frankenstein."  N&Q 46.1 (March 1999): 33-34.

Chantler, Ashley.  "The Waltons: Frankenstein's Literary Family?"  BJ 27 (1999): 102-104.

Clampitt, Heather Lynn.  "Cartesian Creations: Frankenstein's Battle against the Body (Mary Shelley)."  M.A. thesis, U of Texas at Arlington, 1999, MAI, 38-01 (1999): 48, 53 pages.

Clemens, ValdineThe Return of the Repressed: Gothic Horror from The Castle of Otranto to Alien.  Ithaca: State University of New York P, 1999.

Clemens provides a discussion—principally psychoanalytic, but also engaging social and historical circumstances—of gothic literature.  The basic argument is that gothic horror identifies, albeit in a masked or inchoate form, collective problems that trouble the society from which the text emerges.  One of Clemens's key texts is Shelley's Frankenstein.

Colbert, Benjamin.  "Contemporary Notice of the Shelleys' History of a Six Weeks' Tour: Two New Early Reviews."  KSJ 48 (1999): 22-29.

Considering two early reviews (Eclectic Review and Monthly Review) of the Shelleys' late 1817 production, Colbert argues for a reading of the work in context of travel writing rather than the more familiar teleological reading of the History leading up to Mont Blanc.

Daffron, Eric.  "Male Bonding: Sympathy and Shelley's Frankenstein."  Nineteenth-Century Contexts 21 (1999): 415-36.

Fischer, Doucet Devin and Stephen Wagner.  "Visionary Daughters of Albion: A Bicentenary Exhibition Celebrating Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley."  Biblion: The Bulletin of the New York Public Library 6.2 (Spring 1998): 3-148.

Goodall, Jane.  "Frankenstein and the Reprobate's Conscience."  Studies in the Novel 31.1 (Spring 1999): 19-43.

Goodall presents a historically informed argument focusing on the notion and function of conscience in Frankenstein—an area which has been misunderstood due, in part, to a twentieth-century emphasis on the novel as a critique of science: "Frankenstein's conscience is foreign to us and needs to be approached across a cultural divide that is elided when we concentrate our attentions on Frankenstein's science.  Yet if the effort is made to cross this divide, there emerges a radically altered perspective on the novel, with the prospect of an interpretation that focuses not on the horrors of science, but on the phantasmic horrors turned into realities by the monstrous conscience" (21).

Graziano, Anne Leigh.  "Extreme Measures: Individuation in Crisis in the Nineteenth-Century English Novel (Daniel Defoe, Mary Shelley, Elizabeth Gaskell, Charles Kingsley, George Eliot)."  Ph.D. diss., SUNY Buffalo, 1999, DAI, 60-02A (1999): 432, 394 pages.

"I specifically contend that protagonists of nineteenth-century novels are tenuous figures positioned between two threatening, but constitutive possibilities: complete incorporation by others, on one hand, and utter singularity, on the other."  The Last Man is among the works discussed.

Greenfield, Susan C. and Carol Barash, eds.  Inventing Maternity: Politics, Science, and Literature, 1650-1865.  Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 1999.

Among the essays collected here are Claudia L. Johnson's "Mary Wollstonecraft: Styles of Radical Maternity" and Julie Costello's "Maria Edgeworth and the Politics of Consumption: Eating, Breastfeeding, and the Irish Wet Nurse in Ennui."

Harrington-Austin, Eleanor JShelley and the Development of English Imperialism: British India and England.  Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen P, 1999.

Jones, Raymond E.  "Re-Visioning Frankenstein: The Keeper of the Isis Light as Theodicy."  Canadian Children's Literature/Litterature Canadienne pour la Jeunesse 93 (1999): 6-19.

Kautz, Elizabeth Dolan.  "The Geography of Melancholy: Depression and Healing in the Works of British Women Writers, 1785-1845 (Charlotte Smith, Mary Wollstonecraft, Mary Robinson, Jane Austen, Mary Shelley)."  Ph.D. diss., U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1999, DAI, 60-08A (1999): 2940, 232 pages.

The writers mentioned in the title "disrupted the category of masculine melancholic genius by representing their depression in terms of the masculine discourse of melancholy rather than the feminized discourse of hysteria."  Kautz sees this fundamental gender distinction and contends that these writers "represented melancholia and therapies for melancholia—spa treatments, salutary landscapes, and botany—in order to claim the illness and its association with literary production for women and members of the working class."  What is more, they collectively offer a "more utilitarian and rationally based relationship with nature than commonly has been attributed to Romantic writers."

Koelbleitner, Chris.  "Frankenstein and Great Expectations: The Romantic Child and the Victorian Adult (Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens)."  M.A. thesis, Concordia U (Canada), 1999, MAI, 37-06 (1999): 1630, 157 pages.

Komisaruk, Adam.  "'So Guided by a Silken Cord': Frankenstein's Family Values."  SIR 38.3 (Fall 1999): 409-41.

Komisaruk challenges the common notion that some private sphere—the bourgeois family—could serve as a sound basis for an enlightened and egalitarian society.  Instead, the essay contends that "Shelley draws a precise analogy between the ethos of personal (e.g. domestic) privacy and economic privatization, which flourished in tandem during the age of revolution" (411).   This analogy enables Komisaruk to expand on a reading of the novel as embodying a broad economic and ideological critique: "The family is a rehearsal space for the exclusionary attitudes of the privatized public sphere; the self nurtured in the home is a self who will go out and pursue its own interests, not the community's" (441).

Landrum, Crystal Michelle.  "The Hand that Rocks the Cradle: Male Mothering in Nineteenth-Century Literature (William Wordsworth, Charlotte Brontë, Mary Shelley, George Eliot, Bram Stoker, Men)."  Ph.D. diss., U of Georgia, 1998, DAI, 60-02A (1998): 433, 203 pages.

The dissertation considers instances where men are cast in the role of mothers and finds that a traditionally partriarchal system is inevitably disturbed by such crossings.  "[M]ale mothers reveal resistant and unconscious subtexts, challenging hegemonic constructions of gender and the cultural constructs of the mother and striking at the patriarchal conceptions of motherhood as mater minus materiality.  In doing so, male mothers deconstruct the ideology of motherhood that they are supposed to embody; uncover flaws and repressed anxieties in the system as well as ideological inaccuracies; and inadvertently invert and pervert the 'traditional' constructs of motherhood and femininity, notions of home and family considered constant in a patriarchal society."  Landrum offers readings of, among other texts, Wordsworth's Michael and Shelley's Frankenstein.

Lussier,  Mark SRomantic Dynamics: A Poetics of Physicality.   New York: St. Martin's P, 1999.

Romantic Dynamics is a radically interdisciplinary work.  Lussier identifies parallels between, on the one hand, the concepts and metaphors of twentieth-century physics and cosmology and, on the other, the concerns of Romantic-era poetry with physical reality and its apperception by the psyche.  Both areas—recent physics and Romantic poetry—are struck by questions of indeterminacy, relativity, and complexity.  Lussier describes the resulting dynamic models of reality and consciousness in the work of Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron and the Shelleys. 

Markley, A. A.  "Tainted Wethers of the Flock: Homosexuality and Homosocial Desire in Mary Shelley's Novels."  KSR 13 (1999): 115-33.

In this study of gender and sexuality in Mary Shelley's later novels, Markley claims that Shelley "uses intimations of homosexuality and homosocial desire to amplify the competitive nature of relationships between men and to illustrate the social danger implicit in a male-male desire that excludes women."  Female characters, by contrast, "persistently work to dismantle traditional systems of power in the relationships with men and with other women" (116).  The argument has obvious biographical ramifications; the novels that come in for most detailed treatment are The Last Man, Valperga, and The Fortunes of Perkin Warbeck.

McKeeverr, Kerry Ellen. "Writing and Melancholia: Saving the Self in Mary Shelley's 'The Mourner'." RoN 14 (May 1999): <>.

McKeeverr sees in Shelley's neglected short story "The Mourner" (1829) several significant psychological and structural developments.  The story inverts and complicates some of the same concerns as expressed in Mathilda, thus revealing new dimensions of Shelley's treatment of such elements as loss, grief, and melancholy.  The argument is founded on psychological and linguistic theory, especially Kristeva.

Mekler, Lamar Adam.  "Solitude, Alienation and Exile: Mary Shelley in Context (Romanticism)."  Ph.D. diss., Drew U, 1998, DAI, 60-03A (1999): 753, 388 pages.

In this rather disjointed work, Mekler considers the notion of solitude—a positive condition in the writing of canonical Romantic writers, but often the undesired consequence of others' power in Mary Shelley's (and other women writers') work.  The dissertation follows Shelley's development away from the Romantic-era contexts of her youth toward the more "proper" Victorian contexts of her late novels.

O'Rourke, James.  "The 1831 Introduction and Revisions to Frankenstein: Mary Shelley Dictates Her Legacy."  SIR 38.3 (Fall 1999): 365-85.

O'Rourke reads the 1831 version of Frankenstein not as a capitulation to the expectations of a "proper lady" but as an "oblique but systematic interpretation of her own most famous novel and of her place in the literary history of her period" (366).  Indeed, the 1831 Introduction and revisions "highlight Mary Shelley's ironic critique of our willingness to accept the fictional cover that novels provide in order to indulge our identifications with figures of privilege, especially if those figures are clothed in romance, to overlook the dispossessions that their privileges entail, and to do so even as we read a novel whose central figure is a victim of those conventional preferences" (385).

Pifer, Ellen.  "Her Monster, His Nymphet: Nabokov and Mary Shelley."  In Nabokov and His Fiction: New Perspectives, ed. Julian Connolly.  (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1999), 158-76.

Pifer sees aesthetic parallels between Nabokov's Lolita and Shelley's Frankenstein, most especially the separate narrators' parallel recognition of the "hideousness" of the tales they are compelled to tell.  But the parallels have to do as well with artistic creation: both narratives are readable as metaphors for the book that achieves a kind of dangerous independence from the aims and intentions of its author.

Plotkin, David Charles.  "Growing Native: Rhetoric, Education and Community in Nineteenth-Century British Literature (Nineteenth Century, Cultural Studies, Mary Shelley, Charles Dickens, Matthew Arnold)."  Ph.D. diss., U of California, Irvine, 1999, DAI, 60-08A (1999): 2942, 354 pages.

"Debates over popular education in nineteenth-century Britain reflected anxieties about cultural heterogeneity, particularly through portrayals of the lower classes as savages, heathens, or outsiders inside the nation. Literary representations of literacy and education reflected and transformed these debates. The dissertation examines the rhetorical strategies embedded in literary texts and the reception histories of those texts to explore how the cultural rhetoric of popular education circulates through literary, cultural, and historical documents."  The second chapter focuses on Frankenstein with particular emphasis on issues of education and literacy.

Punter, David, ed.  A Companion to the Gothic.  Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1999.

An extensive reference source on the rise and continuing prominence of the gothic.  Among the twenty five or so essays collected here are Robert Miles on Ann Radcliffe and Matthew "Monk" Lewis, Nora Crook on Mary Shelley, Ian Duncan on Scottish Gothic, and David Worrall on "The Political Culture of Gothic Drama." 

Samara, Donya Anne.  "Questionable Ends: Reflections on the Sublime in Contemporary Culture (Jane Austen, Ann Radcliffe, Mary Shelley)."  Ph.D. diss., Indiana U, 1998, DAI, 60-02A (1998): 435, 250 pages.

A series of theoretically informed meditations on how the sublime can function as a critique of "a political belief in ends."  One of the novels discussed is The Last Man.

Webb, Samantha Christine.  "Literary Mediators: Figures of Authority and Authorship in English Romantic Prose (Hannah More, Sir Walter Scott, James Hogg, Mary Shelley, Nineteenth Century)."  Ph.D. diss., Temple U, 1999, DAI, 60-03A (1999): 756, 161 pages.

This study examines the common "found manuscript" frame, considering its relationship to issues of authorship and the commercialization of literature.  Webb focuses on The Last Man and other prominent Romantic period works.

White, Mary Gassaway.  "Writers Among Friends: A Historical Study of Writing Groups."  Ph.D. diss., U of Southwestern Louisiana, 1999, DAI, 60-04A (1999): 1117, 360 pages.

This dissertation examines the form and function of various "writing groups" including, among others, Coleridge and the Wordsworths, and Byron and the Shelleys.  The emphasis is on rhetoric and composition theory.

Yeasting, Jeanne Ellen.  "Double Trouble: Romantic Idealism in the Novels of Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, and Angela Carter (Narcissism, Family Dysfunction)." Ph.D. diss., U of Washington, 1999, DAI, 60-08A, (1999): 2945, 310 pages.

This study considers works by Mary Shelley, Emily Brontë, and Angela Carter, focusing particularly on dysfunctional families, narcissism, and Romantic idealism.  More specifically, the dissertation "explores these authors' use of the double as a critique of Romantic ideals."  An opening chapter on Mary Shelley's fiction adapts Carter's idea of "consolatory myth" to a study of the "connections between Romantic idealism and the quest for an idealized other.  It investigates the relationship between Percy Shelley's 'epipsyche,' the Romantic quest, depression, and pathological mourning."  A subsequent chapter examines these issues in a familial context, arguing that "Shelley shows the devastating effects of idealization, not only on the idealized Other, but also on his or her children."

Ziegenhagen, Timothy Eugene.  "Reading the Book of Nature: Romantic Literature and Romantic Science from William Wordsworth to Thomas De Quincey (John Keats, Humphry Davy, Mary Shelley, Samuel Taylor Coleridge)."  Ph.D. diss., Southern Illinois U at Carbondale, 1999, DAI, 60-08A, (1999): 2945, 238 pages.

"By using rhetorical figures and even the experimental strategies of scientific writers like Buffon, Priestley, Beddoes, and Davy, Romantic literary authors were able to critique the underlying assumptions about the 'natural' origins of political power and to overturn a static view of nature in favor of a more progressive, transformative one. Rigid systems—political and literary—are oftentimes figured in period works of literature as unhealthy and diseased. Closed off from the renewing cycles of an everchanging and vital nature, these systems are prone to pathological manifestations. Disease, in this paradigm, enables change in stagnant social structures and signifies an inevitable return to health—for the state of literature and also society in general."  The dissertation proceeds through discussions of Coleridge, Keats ("The Fall of Hyperion"), Humphry Davy, Mary Shelley (Frankenstein), and De Quincey ("The English Mail-Coach").

Zimmerman, PhyllisShelley's Fiction.  Los Angeles: Darami Press, 1998.

Zimmerman contends—on rather slender stylistic evidence—that Percy Shelley was a more prolific novelist than has been heretofore acknowledged.  In effect, she claims that Shelley wrote novels (including Frankenstein) and then gave them to his friends to help them become established as writers.

Romantic Circles - Home / Scholarly Resources / Current Bibliography: Keats-Shelley Journal / Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, 1999